What is music therapy? According to the American Music Therapy Association,
Music Therapy is an allied health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, psychological, cognitive, and social needs of individuals. After assessing the strengths and needs of each client, the qualified music therapist provides the indicated treatment including creating, singing, moving to, and/or listening to music. Through musical involvement in the therapeutic context, the client’s abilities are strengthened and transferred to other areas of his or her life. Music therapy also provides avenues for communication that can be helpful to those who find it difficult to express themselves in words. Research in the music therapy profession supports the effectiveness of music therapy in many areas such as facilitating movement and overall physical rehabilitation, motivating people to cope with treatment, providing emotional support for clients and their families, and providing an outlet for the expression of feelings.
Music therapy courses are not offered at Baylor, so current students interested in this field are encouraged to pursue either a Bachelor of Music or Bachelor of Music Education degree. After graduation, students can apply to a graduate program specifically for music therapy.
Please visit Musictherapy.org for more specific details about this fascinating and enriching field. You may also want to do some informational interviewing with music therapists in your area. Musictherapy.org provides a directory where you can search for music therapists. The Center for Music Therapy, located in Austin, TX, offers a workshop to discover more about this field and also has lots of information on their website: www.centerformusictherapy.com.
If you are looking for a way to blend your musical gift with an active helping profession, music therapy might just be the direction to take!